Technology Won’t Save You
Stupid is as stupid does.
Recently I saw a young man riding his bicycle down a busy arterial. Since the town I live in is consistently rated one of the “Best Places To Live In The Outdoors” this is not unusual. Lots of people ride. Unfortunately, it was also not unusual that he was riding without a helmet. Freedom of choice is great until those people inevitably crash, frequently sustaining major head trauma. It’s not like falling over while walking, but that truth seems to not matter when weighed in the balance of freedom. Even freedom to be stupid.
And Then There’s More…
This young man–who looked to be in his late 20s–doubled down on stupid. He was riding with no hands. This too, sadly, isn’t unusual. Sure, a moving bicycle is sort of like a gyroscope and “wants” to stay upright as long as its moving. It’s just that no one tells this to the rocks and other junk sitting in the roadways of the world.
What made this intrepid outdoorsman stand out from all others was that his hands, and especially his thumbs, were busy texting on his “smart phone.” Deathwish by technology.
So, he’s totally doomed…at some point. There will be a rock or some other impediment to his bike’s forward motion. The bike will be deflected from its path. And he will go down, his hands providing nothing since they’ll clutch his smarter-than-he-is phone all the way into the pavement. Or tree. Or car.
Questions I wish I could ask this guy:
- Is this text so urgent you can’t stop and get off your bike?
- Are you willing to subsidize my life like you are asking everyone else to subsidize yours after you crash?
- Did you know your smart phone is, well, a phone…from which you can make calls?
- Have you considered that texting while driving is banned all over the place because people get killed…by the one texting?
- What would be the worst that could happen if you just waited to talk to the person you’re texting?
- What would be the best?
Sometimes, freedom is overrated.
Engage here. What’s your peeve? Is there a point at which someone’s freedom becomes a problem for others? Is there a texter in your life that needs a wee bit of truth gently fanned into their face?